The Flood Maintenance Office (FMO) is developing a Strategic Implementation Plan that ties the goals of its programs to maintain elements of the flood control system to the mission and statutory obligations of the department and the objectives of FloodSAFE. Projects selected for bond funding (as well as those receiving funds from the General Fund) are to be consistent with the FMO Strategic Implementation Plan.
The FMO maintains portions of the Sacramento River Flood Control Project (Project), which was constructed by the federal government and turned over to the State for operation and maintenance. The FMO fulfills the assurances provided to the federal government by adequately maintaining the Project. A Memorandum of Understanding was executed in November, 1953 between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the State of California that describes the State’s responsibility for maintaining the Project features.
Sections 8361 and 12648 of the California Water Code give DWR the authority to maintain the Project . Project features covered in the authority include river channels, hydraulic control structures, designated levees, and ancillary structures. (Levees not designated as State responsibility are maintained by local maintaining agencies.) Bond 1E Chapter 1.699, Article 4, Section 5096.821(a) provides for the use of bond funds for repairing erosion sites and removing sediment from channels or bypasses.
The Corps prepares for each unit of the Project maintenance standards to which the State must follow in operating and maintaining channels, levees and other Project features. Additional maintenance and inspection standards for levees maintained by the State are found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 33, Section 208.10, Levees, Channels, Floodways and Associated Structures; the Corps’ Levee Owner’s Manual for Non-Federal Flood Control Works, March 2006; and the Department of Water Resources Vegetation Criteria for Standard Levees, October 2007. Channel and levee maintenance standards generally require that channels be cleared of vegetation, debris and sediments so that design flood flows can be conveyed by channels, that vegetation be controlled on levees to allow visual inspection of levee integrity and flood fighting; and that vegetation be controlled at the landside toe of levees to allow for inspection of seepage. All maintenance projects must meet these standards in order to be eligible for bond funding and federal rehabilitation assistance (PL84-99).
Initially, projects undertaken by the FMO are based on a backlog of deferred maintenance. In addition to continuing to work on deferred maintenance, new projects are identified through a number of inspection programs. These include inspection programs for levees, channels, bridges, hydraulic structures, and utilities. Inspections are conducted to comply with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 208.10) and the National Levee Safety Program.
In addition to complying with maintenance guidelines and manuals developed by the Corps, projects undertaken by the FMO must comply with various permits and agreements from agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Section 404 Clean Water Act and Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Endangered Species Act), California Department of Fish and Game (1600 Streambed Alternation Agreement and Endangered Species Act), Central Valley Flood Protection Board (Encroachment Permit), Water Resources Control Board (401 Clean Water Act), Regional Water Quality Control Board (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit and Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements), State Historic Preservation Officer (Archeological Resource and National Historic Preservation Acts), Native American Heritage Commission, State Lands Commission, and must also comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
Projects are selected for funding based on the severity of potential impacts from flooding, or operation and maintenance demands placed on Maintenance Yard crews due to existing conditions. Removal of sediment from Fremont Weir, Tisdale Weir, and Sycamore Creek are examples of non-routine projects that are applicable to Bond 1E Chapter 1.699, Article 4, Section 5096.821(a).
Future identified projects that will be receiving Proposition 1E funds that meet these criteria include Sycamore Creek Diversion Channel Erosion Study (which should limit the need for future sediment removal projects in Sycamore Creek) and Bear River sediment removal. Other projects will be identified through the inspection programs and channel flow capacity evaluations previously described.
Compliance and Reporting
Contracts prepared by the FMO describe plans and specifications of the work to be performed. Inspectors within the department and outside consultants monitor work progress and provide inspection reports to project managers. These reports are used by the project managers to ensure that the work complies with contract requirements. Once completed, the projects are maintained as part of the flood control system maintenance stipulated in Section 8361 of the Water Code.
Project costs are reviewed prior to award of bond funds to ensure they are eligible costs. In addition, all contracts for professional services (and their task orders), and all construction contracting performed by the Division of Engineering, are reviewed by the Department of General Services to ensure compliance with State contracting procedures.
In addition, the Department has organized a FloodSAFE Program Management Office to document policies and procedures for bond accountability. Project budget and expenditures are tracked and reported to the public via the Department’s bond accountability web site.